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Heart of Huddersfield 2020: Thistledown Marl

Welcome! You've found the page with our very special custom-made 100% wool fabrics. These wools have been designed by the team at Fabworks who have put them in to manufacture, producing a gorgeous demi-bouclé woollen fabric that is perfect for Autumn & Winter dressmaking projects, as well as gorgeous interiors for the home.
Fabworks is primarily a fabric retailer that normally sells 'end of line' fabrics, but this year we have designed & created a beautiful collection of custom woollen fabrics. After all, Fabworks is based in Yorkshire, a region in the north of England that is known as the Heavy Woollen District of the UK.
View the full collection of our unique wool fabrics here or Scroll down this page to learn more


Thistledown Marl explained by our resident fabric expert:

As well as being part of the team that design, create, and bring to life the Heart of Huddersfield wool range, I also gets to see all our wonderful fabrics up close and personal. There is plenty of opportunity to analyse the fabrics, how they feel, how they move, and of course the wonderful aesthetic appeal of the colours and the designs. Heart of Huddersfield is a project that I have had huge involvement with, right from the very start. From choosing the yarns and colours of each fabric to the overall finish and handle, then of course giving each fabric an identity and story in each creative description.

Thistledown Marl is spun, woven, dyed, and finished in the heritage steeped mills of world renown, in Huddersfield West Yorkshire by, a workforce of skilled craftsmen whose families also have textiles in the blood. Go to HOH menu and cycle through the blog articles to learn more about Heart of Huddersfield

After having identified a gap in the existing Heart of Huddersfield range, there was a specific focus on the handle of Thistledown Marl, with a need for a softer and more drapey woollen that would be ideal for creating less structured styles, and fill the gaps left from last year’s most popular wools. Think of all your favourite go-to garments: cardigans, coatigans and easy pop-on pullovers; the garments that go with everything and how they feel, move and handle.

Using another marled yarn base fabric (just like 2019’s Herringbones, Marled Meltons & Birdseyes) the Thistledown Marl collection has been custom dyed and finished to our exact specification, creating a collection of beautiful tones where you’ll find everything: reliable neutrals, muted pastels and vibrant jewels. Each Thistledown Marl has a subtle marled undertone, inspired by nature and designed to complement the entire Heart of Huddersfield range of fabrics.

Thistledown Marl is a collection of semi-solid coloured fabrics takes its name from the soft fluffy seed heads of thistles. Commonly seen as a weed growing on open scrubby pastureland, but forming an important part of the landscape. Late summer brings its rich purple flowers, standing proud like regal crowns atop architectural foliage. Whereas autumn brings those silky fluffy seed heads, with a multi tonal palette that roughly translates to the similar hues in sheep’s wool fleece. From the silver golden-beige tones to greys and dusty browns, these feathery seed heads provide nature with its own parachute to disperse of its precious seeds, for the next generation in line.

Thistledown Marl is woven in a flat weave using a combination of fine all wool multi tonal yarns; comprising of two marled yarns, of light and dark grey, on the warp. The weft uses the same yarns (as the warp) and has a gorgeous cream bouclé yarn sitting alongside, this cream yarn when dyed adds the signature colour to each thistledown marl. This fine bouclé yarn has tiny bouclé curls, which have a lovely brushed and tufted feel and give the fabric its textural appearance and unique look. Thistledown Marl is a fabulous alternative to a knitted fabric because it has a similar texture to a finely knitted woollen garment, just without the stretch, making it much easier to handle. The horizontal rows of fluffy textured bobbles and slubs (created by the bouclé yarn) give a pleasing cosy look and feel. Those tiny raised details will trap warm air next to the body to keep you warm.

We hope you take as much enjoyment from the collection as we did creating it, from all at Fabworks. Dawn, Fabworks Product Specialist.

Browse the collection & take pleasure from planning your unique Yorkshire-made woolly fabric creations


Garment Making & Pattern Suggestions:

Thistledown Marl is a all wool fabric that is perfect for A/W styles to keep you cosy through the colder months. Choose Thistledown Marl to create garments which you may normally associate with knitted fabrics or unstructured styles, the ones that you just have to envelop yourself in. They’re also perfect for more structured pieces too, such as jackets, waistcoats, coats, skirts etc.

Unstructured styles:
Structured & semi structured styles:



Making the Sew Different - Cocoon Jacket
Here is my garment. I made it using the exquisite True Blue and Nature’s Best colourways from the new Thistledown Marl collection. I mean, who can call this ‘work’ when we literally get to play with these stunning soft supple wools all day? The fabrics have an amazing texture and wooliness to them, whilst still being stable and so easy to handle. I wanted to create a garment that was casual and comfortable but also classic in style and in the end I chose the Sew Different’s Cocoon Jacket because I think it suits this fabric and has enough structure to hold the sculptural shape of the cocoon, whilst still being fluid and drapey enough to create a soft jacket. This one will be ideal for popping on in winter with a roll neck and jeans...
This is an excerpt from Chloe's blog article using Thistledown Marl. Click here for the full article and see pictures of the garment in all its glory


Using Thistledown Marl alongside other Heart of Huddersfield wools:

Thistledown Marl: Coordinating HOH from other collections:
Nature's Best Honeycomb Harvest, Rhubarb Pie, Morning Mist, Evening Mist, Heron Flight
Sweet Dough Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, Rose Petal Wine, Rhubarb Pie
Lavender Sachet BlackcurrantFaded Hydrangea, Grapevine, Lush Mint
Yorkshire Sunset Faded Hydrangea, GrapevineEvening MistPink Geranium
Coastal Walk Heron Flight, Thunderbridge Storm, Morning MistMill Pond
Dried Sage Evening Mist, Heron Flight, Rolling Hills, Foggy Pastures, Breath of Fresh Air
Buddleia Purple Potting Shed Green, Blackcurrant, Pink Geranium, Grapevine
Demoiselle Teal Mill PondHeron FlightMorning Mist,
True Blue Waterloo Blue, Mill Pond, Sky Blue Reflection
Field Poppy Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, Redcurrant Pressé, Hearthside Tipple
Runny Honey Honeycomb Harvest, Hearthside Tipple, Pumpkin Wine
Mother's Marmalade Honeycomb Harvest, Hearthside Tipple, Pumpkin Wine, Rhubarb Pie



What is Heart of Huddersfield?

Heart of Huddersfield is a bespoke & unique one-off collection of woollen fabrics designed by and woven exclusively for Fabworks, in the Colne Valley of Huddersfield, iconic for its heritage and expertise in wool manufacturing. Sustainable, exclusive, Fabworks designs, full of colour, natural fibres, low carbon footprint. What's not to love?

  • HoH first ever collection: Sept 2019
  • Hoh new collection: Launch: September 28th 2020

Take your pick from the intricately woven Birdseyes, a range of colourful Herringbones, classic Yorkshire Meltons, quirky Marled Meltons and the exquisite Harris Herringbones. Oh, and the very special Thistledown Marl, new for 2020! See complete Heart of Huddersfield range here

How to care for your Heart of Huddersfield wools

We advise treating your very special woollen fabric like your most expensive coat. If you feel the need to freshen up your Thistledown Marl garments we suggest hand-washing with a specialist wool detergent (there are lots available). Leave the fabric to dry flat on a towel. Do not over-wring or pull out of shape. Do not put in the washing machine or tumble dry! If accidentally soiled, patch clean with water and mild soap. Remember that this fabric is a natural fibre (just like our hair) so treat well. Fabworks cannot be held responsible if fabric is damaged or altered once the fabric is in the customer's hands.

How we prepare your fabric before sending

All cut lengths are cut to order. Available in 0.5m units only, please take extra care when specifying quantities. All fabrics will be sent in one continuous length.

Should I buy extra?

Heart of Huddersfield wools are sold in 0.5m increments. There is no need to order extra fabric, as we do not advise any thorough washing processes. See above for hand-washing & spot cleaning tips.

Limited stock availability

This bespoke collection of exclusive fabrics is only available while stocks last. Fabworks is the only stockist of this item and cannot repeat any designs once sold out. If you are a boutique business and are using this fabric for a collection of garments, we strongly recommend purchasing necessary quantities early.


All Thistledown Marl and Heart of Huddersfield exclusive woollen fabrics are £25.00 per linear metre (width: 158cm).

Where to purchase

Fabworks is the only stockist of this item and cannot repeat any designs once sold out. This exclusive fabric is available to order at Fabworks Online here, at Fabworks Mill Shop in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and via the telephone 01924 466031. Please contact us via email for further information


If you would like to test this luxurious wool prior to ordering a cut length, Fabworks has a very efficient sample service where all samples are sent the same day in an envelope, first class stamped. All Heart of Huddersfield wool samples are 12cm x 20cm and £2.00 each.

Extra goodies

For every customer purchasing fabrics from the HoH range they will receive a FREE embroidered sew-in label to show off their bespoke makes. You can see exactly what these labels look like on our HoH garment-related blog posts.

Thread matching:

Fabworks Online provides a thread matching service when you order any cut length fabrics. The table below lists the preferred Guterman 100m sew all polyester threads to match each Thistledown Marl fabric. If you add a matching thread to your order for any of these fabrics we will send the Gutermann thread listed below or a very similar alternative.

Fabric Name Gutermann Thread Number                                                                                                
Nature's Best 299
Sweet Dough 658 
Lavender Sachet 158
Yorkshire Sunset 663
Coastal Walk 64
Dried Sage 821
Buddleia Purple 373
Demoiselle Teal 903
True Blue 312
Field Poppy 82
Runny Honey 412
Mother's Marmalade 932

If you require multiple threads for an order, please contact us via email or telephone prior to placing your order online.


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